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Former World champion Thor Hushovd (BMC)
Norweigan still chasing Giro victory in his own right
The Norweigan is still eyeing his first victory of the 2012 season with a fifth placing on the seventh stage of Paris-Nice his best showing to date.
The 34-year-old is yet to cross the finish line first at the Giro d'Italia, but was posthumously awarded stage 7 in 2007 after Milram's Alessandro Petacchi who was stripped of his victory for an irregular salbutamol test later in the race.
"The Giro d'Italia has never been a big goal for me, and this year is more complicated due to the Tour de France and Olympics," he said at the BMC pre-race press conference. "I will try to limit the loss of time as possible on the first day and be with so that the pink jersey is within reach in the coming days.
"But there is still a dream and a goal to be first across the finish line on a stage in the Giro d'Italia. And since I wear so much pink, I would like to wear the jersey once or twice."
Prompted to draw comparisons to his 2006 efforts at the Tour de France where he won the 16.km prologue time trial, Hushovd was quick to point out that Saturday's task is very different.
"I have not prepared me as well this time and this is due simply that I have not had time for that after Paris-Roubaix," he said. "But I've put in a few quality sessions and feel safe and confident on the bike pace. It is very important."
Hushovd crashed during Paris-Roubaix, just as eventual winner Tom Boonen launched his attack on the race, effectively ending any chance the BMC recruit had.